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Ceremony Information

Selection of vows

During a civil wedding ceremony you are legally required to say two sets of vows, plus most couples choose to say additional vows when they are exchanging rings.  You may wish to say something quite detailed, alternatively you may opt for the shortest thing possible!  Whatever your preference, our wedding pack includes a range of options for you to choose from, depending on how extensive you would like your ceremony to be.  If you are unsure of anything, the registrar would be more than happy to talk through any concerns or questions you may have on the day, to ensure you are comfortable with your choices.

Personal vows and readings

Additionally, you may wish to further enhance your ceremony by opting to say personal vows to each other, or by selecting some of your guests to do readings.  We would recommend no more than 3 readings during a ceremony. Our wedding pack includes a selection of suitable readings, from quite traditional pieces to more modern writings.  Alternatively, you may wish to select a reading not from our pack, which is special to you.  In the case of both personal vows and readings, you will need to include these in your checklist so that your registrar can plan your ceremony accordingly and supply copies of them prior to the day (readings only if they are not from our pack).  Of course, we want your ceremony to be as personal to you as possible, but we do ask that any additional content is befitting to the occasion and contains no inappropriate material and nothing religious.


You are able to select music for your ceremony.  We would recommend three pieces; for the bride's (or couple's) entrance, the signing of the paperwork at the end of the ceremony and the couple's exit.  You may wish to choose traditional wedding pieces or select something more contemporary that means something to you.  Either way, we would ask that you write your choices on your checklist and ensure that your selections are appropriate.  The easiest way to manage your music is to bring it in on a phone (or suitable device) which can then be connected to our Bluetooth system.  Please note that we ask for your music choices to be included in our checklist so that we can confirm their suitability, not because we are supplying the music itself.

Photography and Videos

We want you to have great memories of your day and, for this reason, we are more than happy for you to have your wedding photographed and videoed - either by a professional or a nominated guest.  The registrar will talk to your photographer on the day about any stipulations.  We do request no additional photography from guests during the actual ceremony as this can be a little off putting for the two of you, but photographs can be taken beforehand and the grounds of Shaw House provide a beautiful backdrop for any photography afterwards.

Ceremony Room Window


You will need to select a minimum of two witnesses for your ceremony.  These can be friends or relatives but they must be adults able to speak and understand English and they must not be supervising young children or taking photographs.  We will ask you to write the names of your witnesses on your checklist and, on the day, the registrar will ask them to sit at the front to ensure they hear everything clearly.

Civil Partnerships

If you have opted for a civil partnership this is largely a paper exercise, completed in the presence of two witnesses.  The majority of our civil partnerships are conducted in the Register Office but you may choose to have a commitment ceremony afterwards, either at Shaw House, one of our licensed premises or a completely separate venue. Or you may wish to complete your paperwork in front of your family and friends in which case we would be happy to put an appropriate ceremony together for you.



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